Commenting on his decision, Mr. Goodyear said: "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with an outstanding team of people at BHP Billiton during a tremendous period in the company's history. But after nine years with the company, and what will be five years as CEO, I have decided it is an appropriate time for the organization to transition to the next generation of leadership. The decision to retire was always going to be a difficult one but change and regeneration are part of corporate life, just as they are part of life. My decision was made easier in the knowledge that we have created an outstanding enterprise with wonderful assets, opportunities and first class people."
BHP Billiton Chairman, Don Argus, said: "Chip has played a key role in the transformation of BHP Billiton since 1999. He has been a member, and in more recent years the leader, of the team which has made BHP Billiton a global leader in the natural resources industry.
"BHP Billiton has benefited by Chip's exceptional leadership and he will continue to lead the company until a new CEO is in place. The Board will now use this period to implement its succession plan. One of Chip's significant contributions is that he has developed a number of strong internal candidates who will be considered for the role. As shareholders would expect we will also consider external candidates." Mr. Argus said.
BHP Billiton also today reported results for the half year ended 31 December 2006 which set records for all key earnings measures including Underlying EBIT of US$9.1 billion and Attributable Profit of US$6.2 billion.
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